What’s My Line?

 Birmingham, Drivel  Comments Off on What’s My Line?
May 222011
 

Here’s a poster from a local fast food restaurant.

Q. Can you tell what this man does for a living?

Whatsmyline

A. That’s right: he’s a fish.

Sep 092009
 

Internet radio show Phantom Circuit finished its run recently with a double-length edition showcasing a diverse range of music and featuring an excellent live set of improvised electronic music by Fonik, recorded live in Birmingham at a festival organised by Radio Black Forest. For the time being, you can still listen to the show and all previous editions online.

Radio Black Forest tells us that the next event will be at the Sound Bar in Birmingham on Friday 18th September. It will feature Evol, Joe Gilmore and Lee Gamble. You can find out more about this and other gigs on RBF’s Myspace page.

No, I don’t have a light

 Birmingham, Drivel, Society  Comments Off on No, I don’t have a light
Mar 282009
 

No, sorry, I don’t have a light. I don’t smoke. You scowl and turn away, outraged. But have you considered buying your own “lights”, rather than scowling at those inconsiderate non-smokers who do not carry around such paraphernalia for you?

Nor do I carry clean needles, rolled up banknotes, hookahs or portable chemistry sets from Switzerland. That’s very remiss of me, and I should be here to satisfy the cravings and addictions of anyone who accosts me in the street needing a fix.

Speaking of which, do you have a spoon for my coffee? Stir it for me, would you?

No sugar, thanks.

Good riddance to TVs on trains

 Birmingham, Environment, Society  Comments Off on Good riddance to TVs on trains
Mar 212009
 

Rail travellers in Birmingham will soon be free to read, to converse or to gaze out of the windows free from the noise of televisions, thanks to the decision of train operator London Midland to remove all sets from its carriages.

London Midland still has issues to address (their published bar graphs indicating customer satisfaction appear with the top 20% of blank space omitted) but when a train does arrive, travelling on it should soon no longer be as routinely irritating as it has been.

Good. Very good.

Snow news day

 Birmingham, Communication, Society  Comments Off on Snow news day
Feb 022009
 

If you are unfortunate enough to live in Birmingham and need to travel locally by train, you will, on most journeys, be forcibly subjected to television programmes. Sitting in the “Quiet Zone” of each carriage offers no escape since these zones are open to the blaring of the televisions. The signal cannot be shut off. You can close your eyes but you must hear.

Currently the choice (by the train company) of aggravating infotainment is Sky News. Sky News is the sort of station that is unable to think beyond having jingles that have fake Morse code as a theme. That idea was old by the sixties and was done much better back then. Furthermore, Sky News is the sort of station that literally has ONE news story, and today that story is “IT IS SNOWING”.

Here’s what a loop of “news” about the sky sounds like.

DIT DEE DIT DEEE
It’s snowing.
The weather forecast shows snow.
Here’s a map of the UK, showing where snow will fall.
It’s snowing.
And now a special report from someone by a roadside.
Drivers have been warned not to drive unless they have to. But some people need to travel by car to get to where they want to go (NB: this is very nearly a verbatim quote).
It’s snowing. Back to the studio.
DIT DEE DIT DEEE
It’s snowing.
Here’s a map of the UK showing snow. The forecast is for snow.
This is the worst snow for 5 years. (They don’t remark on the freakishly mild winters).
It’s snowing. Here’s a special report from London.
Here in London it has been snowing. Drivers are having to drive slowly.
Concern is mounting for Britain’s already ailing economy as shops close early (again, this is pretty much a verbatim quote).
It is snowing. But it is not all bad. This small boy is enjoying playing in the snow.
Back to the studio.
DIT DEE DIT DEEE
It’s snowing. Here’s a map showing snowfall in the UK. Snow is expected.
And now a comment from An Expert with an excited “I’m on TV” smile. She explains that this has been the heaviest snow fall in “many years” (see elsewhere the report of “5” for “many”).
Back to the studio.
AND REPEAT.
DIT DIT DEE
AND REPEAT.
DIT DIT DEE
AND REPEAT.
DIT DIT DEE
AND REPEAT.
DIT DIT DEE
There is no escape.
AND REPEAT.
DIT DIT DEE
AND REPEAT.
DIT DIT DEE
AND REPEAT.
DIT DIT DEE
AND REPEAT.
DIT DIT DEE
AND REPEAT.
DIT DIT DEE…

Yes it’s snowing. But you might prefer walking to catching a train.

Microsoft embarrasses itself outside Apple store

 Birmingham, Communication, Mac software, Society  Comments Off on Microsoft embarrasses itself outside Apple store
Oct 312008
 

Workers at the Apple Store in Birmingham were surprised today (30th November) to find that Microsoft had set up an edifice outside. Giant, unflattering photographs of unattractive people were on display, each marked with the legend “I’m a PC” and “world without limits” or some other hogwash ripped off from The Matrix (an old film you might remember).

It’s quite astounding how Microsoft and their advertising agency have allowed Apple to choose the battleground and the rules. There has never been a sadder indicator of a software giant with identity crisis and no direction, panicking. Unless you count the fact that the invitations to the public to record their own “I’m a PC” videos appeared to have absolutely no takers.

As for the Apple Store, well, the employees were the very model of tactful evasion, but it was clear they were not shaking in their boots from the publicity onslaught.

This weblog will continue to take the piss out of Apple’s excesses, but really, when you get these little reminders of the computing world beyond… you get a reminder of why some people get a little over-affectionate towards their choice of a mere operating system.

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